Author Name: EM Lynley
Book Name: 24-Karat Conspiracy
Series: Precious Gems
Series is recommended to be read in order
Release Date: June 12, 2015
Love is the only gold
Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.
This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.
Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.
Pages or Words: 240 pages, 72k words
Categories: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Reed stood and kissed Trent on the top of the head, then turned the water off. “Gonna hit the shower and change before going over to Cray’s. Care to join me?”
“I told you I’m not in the mood for cigars.”
“I meant in the shower.”
“Hmm. I thought you’d never ask.”
The shower made Reed half an hour late to Cray’s house. After hearing about Katie’s bruises, Reed was inclined to cancel, but he needed to hang out with these men, and especially after Trent’s sleuthing. Plus, it was an opportunity to see how Katie was doing and observe her husband’s interactions with her.
“Glad to see you, Atwater. Oh, hey, you didn’t need to bring beer.”
“Sure, I did. I’m not supposed to drink whiskey.”
“One of Troy’s things. He also hates cigars, so I figured I had to choose my battles.” Reed hated bad-mouthing Trent, but it was just BS to get the guys to trust him. Nothing helped men bond more than bitching about their spouses. He’d learned that technique long ago. An invaluable undercover trick.
Cray introduced his wife, Katie, and Reed agreed with Trent’s assessment of her wardrobe. That crack Gregson had made about Katie’s cleavage was spot-on. It made no sense that the jealous types wanted to parade their wives around in skimpy clothes and then beat the poor women when other men ogled them.
Katie was friendly to Reed, and thankfully, Cray didn’t care. The gay card was a plus here, for Katie’s sake, at least.
The evening went smoothly enough. Reed lost most of his money, purposefully trying to see if anyone was cheating and to encourage these men to underestimate him. If he’d won, they’d pay much closer attention to everything he did or said. Once they thought they were better than him at something, they’d keep inviting him along to card games and other events, never expecting him to notice anything.
One thing Reed spotted was top-of-the-line kitchen appliances like a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer, Cuisinart food processor, and Vitamix. He had to thank Trent because otherwise Reed would never have known how much those items cost. He peered into rooms and looked for other high-end items. At one point he went into the garage and spotted a wet-dream of a workshop with power tools Reed couldn’t even name. Add in Cray’s Tag Heuer watch and alarm bells started sounding.
The most telling item was a ceramic statue on a shelf in the living room.
“What’s this? It looks really old,” Reed said.
“Picked it up in Iraq during my tour there.”
“Doesn’t look like anything I ever saw in the market.” Reed reached for the object, and Cray pulled his hand back before he made contact.
“It’s a little nicer than the items they sell in the market. I paid more for that than Katie might like to know. Supposed to be a thousand years old. I suspect I got ripped off, so don’t tell her it was expensive.”
“Sure thing, man.” Reed slapped Cray’s shoulder in a gesture of manly solidarity. But his trained eye told him the item was genuine. Not as old or as valuable as the gold items, but it was museum quality. As soon as he got a chance, he’d look this one up on the list of missing artifacts.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6513
About the author:
EM Lynley writes sizzling gay romance with a hint of mystery. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/790672047651196/
Free Reads: www.emlynley.com/free-stories/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2839305.E_M_Lynley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card